By Sharachchandra Bhandary
The United Nations has stressed on collaboration among the United Nations, its specialized agencies and development partners for the socio-economic development as well as strengthening democracy in Nepal. The 50 member high-level delegation of the UN, which arrived Nepal for making an onsite inspection of the projects run with the support of the UN and its specialized agencies, and for determining the future strategy, emphasized on collaboration for the prosperity of Nepal.
The officials of the executive board of the six UN specialized agencies – United Nations Development Project (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Women and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) have made an assessment following their a nine- day visit of four development regions of Nepal that the cooperation needed to be expanded.
Walton A. Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN and the leader of the delegation comprising the officials of the UN executive board from New York, Rome and Geneva, said the international community should extend support in an integrated manner for the advancement of democracy and development in Nepal.
In the reception organized by UN Resident Coordinator Valerie Julliand in honour of the delegation on Friday, the Ambassador said that the visits of Nepal’s four development regions has made easier to take stock of Nepal’s development needs and challenges. The Ambassador said the team analyzed Nepal’s necessities from the visit and took the UN and its specialized agencies’ challenges into notice, which would ultimately help in plan formulation and strategy making in the future.
Stating that the delegation was satisfied with its visit to Nepal, the Ambassador shared that assistance, goodwill and cooperation between the UN and Nepal’s development partners and the Government of Nepal was further strengthened by the delegation’s visit. After the conclusion of a nine-day visit to Nepal commending the country for maintaining an exemplary collaboration between different UN agencies and the Government in guiding the country on the pathway to sustainable development.
“As members of Executive Board of different UN agencies, we were here to see how these agencies are carrying out their mandates and the direction of the UN,” he highlighted three main observations from this visit. First, the Executive Board members saw from the ground up that the UN agencies are working together in the spirit of One UN. Secondly, the team saw from the field visit that the agencies have put in a significant amount of work in response to the development and recovery needs and thirdly that all these efforts are well-coordinated with the government.
The Ambassadorial-level delegation, comprising of 28 members of the four Executive Boards representing 18 countries, and other top officials from the UN Headquarters, discussed strategies for co-operation of the UN system with national authorities, development partners and civil society organizations.
According to UNIC, in Kathmandu the team leaders of the executive boards of the agencies participating in the trip met with the Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prakash Saharan Mahat.
“I would like to underline and appreciate the good relations existing between the UN system and Nepal as well as the high degree of trust, openness, transparency, and the joint strategic partnership for sustainable development,” he added “We were able to get a snapshot of the progress, the opportunities, as well as challenges facing Nepal in its endeavors for democratic and sustainable development.”
The delegates, which divided into four groups during their travels, had the opportunity to see the results of the UN’s work on the ground in the districts of Kailali, Bajhang, Baitadi, Rupandehi, Dang, Banke, Sindhuli, Nuwakot, Kavrepalanchowk, including in Kathmandu and to discuss local priorities with women, children and youth, including representatives of the local communities and authorities.
The mission members, who also visited the earthquake-affected areas, commended on the progress made in the last two years since the earthquake, while underscoring the need for more concerted efforts to speed up and fully accomplish the reconstruction work to build a more resilient Nepal.
During their field visits the delegates had the opportunity to learn about efforts made by the UN agencies, including in the areas of local governance and local economic development, post-conflict victims rehabilitation, social cohesion, child- and adolescent-friendly services, increase of transportation, access in rural mountains, increasing use of birthing facilities, efforts to curb malnutrition, gender-based violence and harmful social practices, as well as support to recovery and resilient reconstruction and resumption of vital services like education and health in the earthquake affected areas.
“Nepal has made great strides since the Peace Agreement in 2006. We understand that Nepal is undergoing a political transition towards a federal system,” said Ambassador Webson. “As a signatory to the SDGs, and being one of the first respondents to these goals, we recognise the efforts made by Nepal to ensure that “no one is left behind”– be it the marginalised groups, the women, or those with disability. We wish Nepal all success in its efforts under Agenda 2030, to endeavour to reach first those who are furthest behind.”
UN stresses on collaboration among development partners
By Sharachchandra Bhandary